Fidelity’s Korhonen Quits Five Years After Succeeding Bolton

Jorma Korhonen, who took over some of Anthony Bolton’s funds five years ago, is leaving Fidelity Worldwide Investment after slumping returns prompted the money manager to seek a replacement.

Korhonen will be succeeded by Jeremy Podger in March, Fidelity said in an e-mailed statement. Until then, the Fidelity Global Special Situations Fund will be run by Sudipto Banerji with immediate effect, the company said.

Korhonen took the reins of Global Special Situations when it was split from Bolton’s U.K. Special Situations Fund in 2006. At the time, Bolton’s fund was valued at $12 billion and he’d managed it for 27 years, becoming Britain’s most successful money manager.

“The performance of the fund had not met expectations and, after a period of discussion with the portfolio manager, Jorma Korhonen, we agreed that the fund should be under new management,” Anne Read, a spokeswoman for Fidelity in London, said today in an e-mailed statement. “Consequently, Jorma has decided to leave the company to seek a fresh challenge.”

The Special Situations fund has slumped 17 percent this year and is down 2.9 percent since Korhonen took over. A voicemail left on Korhonen’s direct line in London wasn’t immediately returned.

Bolton delivered annual returns of 20 percent during his tenure, outpacing the 13.5 percent average for the FTSE All-Share Index, Fidelity said in April 2010. That was the month Bolton was named portfolio manager for Fidelity China Special Situations Plc, a trust specializing in Chinese shares.

“Jeremy Podger has an impressive track record in the management of global equities, having beaten benchmarks by a cumulative 60 percent during a 15 year period,” Dominic Rossi, global chief investment officer for equities at Fidelity, said in the statement.

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